NEW ORLEANS — Federal public defenders have been granted more time to work on the appeal for former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who is serving a 10-year sentence for corruption.
Briefs in Nagin’s appeal had been due Monday, but the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals pushed back the deadline to April 9.
The Federal Public Defender’s office sought a delay. The office noted that its lawyers had not represented Nagin in his 2014 trial and were having to prepare an appeal in a complex case with limited access to Nagin by mail and telephone.
Federal prosecutors did not object to the delay, which was granted last week.
“All attorney-client communications have been by mail and through telephone calls coordinated with Mr. Nagin’s prison counselor,” public defenders Claude Kelly and Jordan Mark Siverd said in last week’s request for more time. “Scheduling phone calls has been particularly difficult. Telephone contact has been very limited.”
Siverd was appointed to the case last year after Nagin’s previous attorney, Robert Jenkins, said the former mayor was unable to pay him.
Nagin, a Democrat, had been elected as a reformer when he took office in 2002. But prosecutors said graft in his administration began before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005 and flourished afterward. Bribes included money, free vacations and truckloads of free granite for his family business.
He was convicted on 20 of 21 federal counts, including charges of bribery, conspiracy and money laundering.